Sunday, 13 December 2009

Get your gingham apron on folks, it's Troutie's Christmas Post - Part One

I went a bit funny in the head before I wrote this blog. I came over all Martha Stewart/Delia Smith with a splash of Keith Floyd. You’re probably going to hate it. So feel free to go to someone else’s blog right now.

Firstly, like a good cook washes her hands, I’m going to cleanse my soul with this honest offering. I’m sorry for what I’m about to say, but here goes.

Sometimes I harbour real anti-mummy blog feelings. There you go, I said it. I don’t want muffin recipes and crafting tips and competitions for a breast pump and to hear how many bowel movements your son had today. I just don't.

I want to win a year's subscription to Scarlet Magazine, a case of rum and tickets to the next Dancehall Queen Competition in Jamaica.

But right now the sprit has got me. I’m not necessarily talking about the spirit of Christmas or the kind of spirit one gets in a bottle. I’m talking about the ‘Mum Spirit’. The desire to cleanse, nurture, nourish and indulge. (No, I'm not pregnant - we established that in the last post). Anyway, whatever the reason for my sudden domestic goddess desires, here it is my homelovin’, homecookin’, real bitch of a Christmassy tips and hints kind of post -Part 1.


I admire and respect the ideas behind Ramadan, but I know I don’t have what it takes to fast. This is due to a distinct lack of willpower or religious incentive. However; I alway feel uneasy about Christmas excesses, so I decided to have a month from 23rd November to 23rd December where I lived a more frugal life by doing the following things:

Paying attention to using up leftovers and eating up everything in my cupboards/fridge so I don’t throw out food.

Buying less food; spending less money

Eating less sweet, salty and fatty fatty boom boom foods

Eating more simple dishes with seasonal ingredients

Recycling things (more than usual)

Yeah, well I am trying…….. my freezer and cupboards are emptying. The simple dishes with seasonal ingredients is a tough one (is a mince pie 'seasonal'?) Steering clear of salty/sugary treats is also hard (does it count if someone else buys them for you?). I am definitely buying less food, but can't see this translating to spending less money. All in all 'could do better' - just can't seem to give up wine.......although I have cut down (does this sound like denial to you?).

Anyway, once I come off my regime I’ll be hittin’ the hard stuff in spectacular style. So if you fancy joining me for a tipple here are a few Christmas drink recipes from moi.


I think Cosmos are really Christmassy with their cranberry and citrus flavours, so here’s the recipe from the International Bartenders Association.

Vodka Citron
Fresh Lime juice
Cranberry juice
Add all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into large martini glass. Garnish with lime slice. (although personally I prefer the orange peel garnish- also I have removed the measures. Come on who needs measures...just keep trying until you get it right!)

Because there is a strong Jamaican influence in my household, I loved the look of this Rum N’ Ginger cocktail courtesy of The Guardian.

Fill glasses with ice, pour in two slugs of good rum (preferably Appleton Special). Top up with ginger beer, squeeze two chunks of fresh lime.

Another one I’m going to try this year is Swedish Glogg. Ever since I had a short holiday in Stockholm a few years back I've been fond of this winter warmer which, if done right, can pack a real freaking punch and make you hallucinate moose.

Makes about 1 gallon (those are more my kind of measures)
1.5 litre bottle of inexpensive dry red wine
1.5 litre bottle of inexpensive port
1 bottle of inexpensive brandy or aquavit
10 inches of stick cinnamon
1 Tablespoon cardamom seeds
2 dozen whole cloves
Peel of one orange
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup blanched almonds
2 cups sugar
Garnish with the peel of another orange

Heat it up and drink!


Now, usually you wouldn't catch me putting any kind of biscuit recipe on this blog whatsoever but in keeping with my theme today, I just loved this idea from Annabel Karmel.

Next time........ I'll be bringing you the perfect gift for your young child and inexpensive yet blinging ways to decorate your tree.

In the meantime.......... I loved 'Little Green Fingers' post about Kirstie Allsop. And now I'm off to blow my own glass baubles, stuff my turkey, erect my tree, weave my own christmas linens, polish my silver and gild some fruit.


  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one with anti-mummy blog sentiments. Although one of mine has been too much like a Mummy-blog lately for my liking.

  2. Yup, am also anti-mummy blog... which is why mine is such a soft target for paranoid former employer. Maybe I should write about children wee-ing in bed at night time and trying to find the right organic cake for the next birthday party?

    Pah! But loved the bit about hallucinating moose. Am still laughing.

    LCM x

  3. Bah humbug let's have these antimummy blog sentiments together.I am usually a cynical smartarse but must admit I do come over all mumsy and Martha Stewart on crack at Christmas too. A few days ago I did a video of me sending up southern cook Paula Deen you should do a video too!

  4. Please can I come to your house for Christmas? Your entire festive catering routine appears to be alcoholic with recipes measured by the gallon.

    In fact, can I just come and live with you. I'd be no trouble - I promise. I could even gild you some fruit.

  5. I will stand in solidarity with you .'mommy blogs' bore me shitless.